The Magnificent Community of Rioters

PSA. May 11:

The Magnificent Community of Rioters

“Whether this negation manifests itself without betraying itself or whether its forces will be hijacked once again to serve the calculated spread of disaster has nothing to do with necessity; it depends on the melancholic decision made by a few free elements to make a practical use of their consciousness, in other words, to sow in the world of the Spectacle a Terror which is the inverse of the terror that reigns at present.”

drawn from Tiqqun’s What is Critical Metaphysics?

There is a massive and unforgivable “community” threatened by the courageous acts of property destruction on May Day. It is the community of citizens: a false community made up of the prisoners of a civilization so destructive and insane that it rewards even its most vocal defenders with dementia and cancer. The law-abiding citizens are embroiled in a global civil war between the forces of domination and the forces of chaotic freedom but are not allowed to speak of such a war. In taking a position of either mute or principled neutrality, they side with the corpse machine of capitalism even as it robs them of any possibility of love, solidarity, and hope. The timeless sadness of the suburbs perfectly captures the spiritual condition of the community of citizens. In the most basic ethical sense, the modern citizens are inseparable from the “Good Germans” who quietly watched the trains to Poland leave full of Jews, communists and homosexuals and return empty. The damage done by the citizens’ ten thousand year old civilization to our living planet and the full spectrum of dispossession in our own lives is approaching the unresolvable, and for most of us the possibility of a healed life has faded from possibility. We are left only with the eternal Spirit of destruction and the revolutionary experiments which grow in the Spirit’s shadow.

Anarchism and its language of insurrection has provided some of us with the grammar we need to name our enemies. Riots and combative street demonstrations take place in one the many theaters of our battle with those enemies, and the Black Bloc is one of the tactics used by our fighters to both hide their “legal” identities from the enemy and provide a model of resistance for those who are awakening from the dreamless sleep of the citizen.

What occurs in this mass of unruly, unpredictable bodies that makes up the Black Bloc?

1. The emergence of a temporary and unspoken solidarity which brings life into the space of revolt, and which – if only for a few blocks – transforms our lives from unreachable images into passionate experiences.

2. In the spread of unmediated, targeted friendship among the rioters we witness the creation of a fleeting but literally timeless Event ; those present during the Event are pushed into a world of infinite dimensions by the public, anonymous, criminal acts of war carried out by the rioters against the symbols of power and wealth.

3. We are blessed by an ecstatic moment of communion which feels different in nearly every way from even the closest moments of “togetherness” permitted in this society, and which imbues us with a sense of terrible, destructive purpose, pushing us beyond the impoverished “selves” constructed for us by our families, schools, churches, and jobs.

4. A negative community comes into being , and in its mute violence we watch the unspeakable fury of the living direct itself against its true target: the dead world of work, merchandise, and the police.

What occurred first on May Day in Seattle was the drawing of the line, and immediately afterwards those of us present at the anti-capitalist march were witnesses to the ancient miracle of a collective crossing of the line. The experience of mass, violent disobedience to the law never fails to open vast psychological spaces in which previously terrorized and alienated individuals are able to discover their immense, subversive power and share it with other people. The community of rioters entered into presence, found itself permanently at odds with the community of citizens, and began to supersede itself at the moment the first bank windows were shattered. The rioters’ discovery of collective strength is a nightmare for the rulers and technicians of this disgusting, authoritarian society, and the positive, self-affirming hatred shared by those who crossed the line on May Day is the true object of the massive legal repression and social condemnation being called for by the capitalist media. The state does not care about punishing property attackers as such: their real target is the possibility of illegal self-organization and the spread of conspiratorial friendship. This is an important point that must not be overlooked.

The Black Bloc cannot be reduced to the categories of the Law – it is neither a family or a gang – and it cannot be understood by the corporate media scum who maintain the vast Spectacle which makes the horror of the present seem normal, consensual, and beyond refusal. In a mass imagination wounded by television, anti-depressants, school, and video games, the desperate image of true freedom converges in the violence of the Black Bloc and in the coming age must pass beyond it.


Wolves of Solidarity – Pacific Column

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